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does menu planning help?

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i have noticed that a lot of people plan their meals for the next day.... my question: do you guys find that it makes staying OP easier? i have considered planning my next day out but i find it hard because what i may think i want tomorrow really won't be what i want when the time comes. the only time that i 'plan out' my meals is when i go to work i pack my lunch... only because i am surrounded by lots of temptations (i work in the same area as a restaurant kitchen)


diana

SW: 338.2

CW: 278.4

Made 10% Goal on 10/03/07

"Never let weakness convince you that you lack strength." - quote from a wall at LA Fitness

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Guest neu_me06

I plan, plan, plan! Have little nibbles ready made in the fridge for when you get home and are really ready to eat something. The easier it is to grab, the easier to stay OP, IMO. Weight Watcher's products are delish, and the frozen meals are easy to pop into the microwave. It's also nice to have "safe" snack foods around. The more you move, the hungrier you'll be, and everything tastes good! Try having a menu for several days planned, and then shop for that list. It can't be easy being in such close proximity to a restaurant kitchen! :salut You can do it!

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thanks! it is oh-so-hard! i always have people wanting me 'to taste this' and 'taste that'. a lot have gotten used to me being on ww so i don't get a lot of offers but seeing as how i work the overnight shifts, it's hard to not want to eat when i am bored. i have started taking a really large btl of water and some snacks with me to work. i have found that it helps so i have been debating if i want to plan out the meals for the following day.


diana

SW: 338.2

CW: 278.4

Made 10% Goal on 10/03/07

"Never let weakness convince you that you lack strength." - quote from a wall at LA Fitness

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I don't plan out specific meals, but I do keep foods in the house that make it easy for me to stay OP. Specific meals make me feel restricted and if I feel restricted, I don't do well. It's a mental thing. :) Planning helps a lot of people, so give it a try.


  • HW-142 CW-118
  • Success is not built on success. It's built on failure. It's built on frustration. Sometimes its built on catastrophe.--Sumner Redstone

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My success at staying OP is directly related to planning out what I am going to eat. I notice that on days that I don't have a plan I tend to make bad decisions. When I plan what I am going to eat I make sure that I am flexible, so if I planned to eat a granola bar that was 2 points but am not in the mood when the time comes, I can exchange it with something else that is 2 points (like a 100 cal pack of popcorn). It works for me.


Jen :wave:

 

SW: 256

CW: 165

GW: 155

Started WW June 1, 2005

Total Pounds Lost: 91

Turn your face to the sun and you won't see the shadows

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I agree with Jen. Pre planning makes it so much easier to stay OP. Especially during stressful times, it's so much easier to eat what I've planned. One less decision to make.


Joanne

SW 252.6/WWG 157/2013 Restart 192.6:bcb_huh:/CW189

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I usually set up menus for a week at a time, but then freely interchange those choices on a day to day basis. If the meal is OP then it doesn't matter whether I have that particular meal on Wednesday or Friday, but it sure saves time from having to run to the grocery store when it's time to start dinner.

 

If boredom eating is a problem for you, may I suggest that you draw up a list of alternate activities.


Weaver

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Planning is key, for me. I plan my dinners one week at a time. For lunch and breakfast, I have several "menu items" that I can choose from, depending on how I feel that day.

 

For example, here are some of my breakfast and lunch choices:

 

 

Breakfast: (5-6 pts)

1) Egg-Un-McMuffin (5 pts):

1 light whole-grain Thomas English Muffin (2 pts), toasted

2 slices Canadian Bacon (1pt), fried in nonstick skillet

1 egg, fried in nonstick skillet (2)

 

2) Steel-Cut Oats, cooked, 1 cup (3 pts), made with skim milk (1pt), topped with fresh fruit (1pt)

 

3) Raisin Bran, 3/4 cup (2pts), w/ 1cup skim milk (2pts), topped with half a banana, sliced (1pt)

 

 

Lunch:

1) Lite Cottage cheese, 2/3 cup (2pts), 1 cup grape tomatoes (0), pickle (0),

7 low-fat Triscuit crackers (2)

 

2) Big Salad: Lots of zero-point veggies (lettuce, tomatoes, cukes, etc),

topped with 1-2 oz lean protein (honey ham, turkey, hard-boiled eggs, garbanzo beans, tuna - leftover stuff from previous dinner - etc.), plus 1 Tablespoon of my favorite balsamic vinaigrette dressing (2)

 

3) Veggie Soup: Big bowl of WW 0-point veggie soup with crackers (usually 7 low-fat triscuits), with maybe some protein thrown in for good measure (some grated cheese on the soup, or a little with the crackers, or add some beans, you get the idea...)

 

4) Turkey Sandwich:

- One slice regular whole wheat bread, cut in half (2)

- 2 oz. deli sliced turkey (or ham, or whatever) (2)

- 1 Tablespoon lite mayo (2, I believe - haven't made this in awhile)

- Lettuce and tomato slice

 

- Add a pickle on the side, if you like

 

5) Leftover dinner - I just eat a smaller portion for lunch

 

 

So, I try to keep the makings for these on hand. That way, I can decide at the last minute whether I want a salad or soup. I tend to go for salads in the summer and soups in the winter.

 

For snacks, I keep lots of fruit and yogurt on hand. I'm not so good at reaching for raw veggies (unless I have something to dip them in), but I'm working on it.

 

Dinner:

Like I said, I plan 5-6 entree's a week, and accompany them with a steamed veggies (or salad, if I didn't have one for lunch), and either brown rice, noodles (not so often), or potatoes (I adore sweet potatoes). Brown rice can be made ahead in big batches - it will keep for several days in the fridge.

 

Also, if you're the kind of person who doesn't mind eating the same thing twice a week, you can double up on recipes and only have to cook a few times a week. With marinades, you can mix them up and freeze the meat/fish/chicken mixed in a ziploc baggie.

 

Planning may seem a bit, well, annoying at first. It can feel very limiting if you're not used to it. But once you get the hang of it, you'll find it very freeing, I think. For one thing, you won't find yourself staring at a frozen hunk of meat 5 minutes to dinnertime and wondering what the heck you're going to eat....

 

Good luck,

Jennifer


ACE-certified Personal Trainer

& WW Lifetime Member

 

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I too have a lot of people wanting to offer me food at work - I try to just eat my target points and if there is something at work that I think is worth the extra pts, I use my WPA - but I always find a way to use up my extra WPA - even if that means Thursday is (homemade) pizza night.

 

Snacks are a great idea. :bcb_up


VANESSA

274/248.5/under 150

Size 26/20/8ish

1/4/08: -10

2/1/08: -8.5

3/7/08: -0

4/4/08: -4.5

5/2/08: -4

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Hi Di,

 

I'm not a planner. I like to form my meals as I go. However, on the weekends I tend to make up batches of yummy OP foods so I can just grab them through the week. I'm on core now, but even on flex, things like puddings, muesli, corenbread, pumpkin cookies, baked oatmeal, hardboiled eggs, are all things that are nice to have in the fridge through the week.

 

Try different things to see whats doable for you. :salut


~ Christyn ~

CW - 217.6 - 4/4/11

Loss: - 10

 

Visit my blog!: http://lifeisnotasprint.com

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I always have OP items such as lean cusines, 100 calorie packs of different things, cut veggies, usually always salty and sweet type snacks availabe as well as chicken breasts, 0 or 1 point marinades for the chicken etc.

 

I plan my meals for the week for dinners anyway and then depending what I feel like that day I'll make it. Usually in the morning I try to plan out what I want for dinner first because that is usually my biggest point meal of the day. Then go from there... and look at the choices I have for lunch.... then snacks generally and then breakfast.

 

Usually at the beginning of any given day I'll know what I craving and my mind doesn't change too much throughout the day. I'd say if anything know youself and plan for what you need. I need a big dinner, I need lots of snacks, including some after dinner snacks... I don't really like breakfast, but know I have to eat it so I use only a few points then.

 

It's really learning your eating patterns when you usually crave food, when if at all do you go OP? and plan ahead. If I didn't leave some points for an after dinner snack that's setting myself up for failure because I know I'm going to want to eat.

 

Kristen

sorry for my longwinded answer = )


SW 245/CW 153/GW 150/

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thanks for all the suggestions everyone... tonight is my first night back to work since saturday night (woohoo to 3 days off... we had been busy in previous weeks so it was a much needed 3 days off!) anyway, i will be preparing my meal to take with me shortly. i'm taking chicken of some sorts... and it's something that i can get from work but i don't want to get tempted when i walk into the kitchen and smell the fries and key lime pie... yea, my 2 weaknesses in that kitchen!

i have been OP all day so i will not let work temptations mess me up! once again, thanks everyone for the feedback!


diana

SW: 338.2

CW: 278.4

Made 10% Goal on 10/03/07

"Never let weakness convince you that you lack strength." - quote from a wall at LA Fitness

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I usually set up menus for a week at a time, but then freely interchange those choices on a day to day basis. If the meal is OP then it doesn't matter whether I have that particular meal on Wednesday or Friday, but it sure saves time from having to run to the grocery store when it's time to start dinner.

 

If boredom eating is a problem for you, may I suggest that you draw up a list of alternate activities.

When I do this its SOOO much easier to stay OP. I like to plan out for a week because it makes shopping easier also. Plus you know at lunch whats for dinner so you know I can't eat xyz or I will not have enough points for dinner or the opposite you can say. Ok I can try xyz becuase I hvae extra points.

 

Blake


MO Platoon Member #711

SW - 237.4 - 12/14/10 | GW -179.0 ##/##/## | LT - 10/06/07| CW - 237.4 - 12/14/10 - +0.0# | Current Loss - 0.0#

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I plan very much the way Kristen described. I start with dinner and work my way back. Breakfasts are usually one of the following: grits (2), fiber one bar (2) or cereal bar (2), with fruit (1) and coffee (1). Lunches are usually a WW/LC/HC meal, veggie beef soup (I make a big pot a few times a month and freeze individual portions) or dinner leftovers. What I have for lunch is dependent on what I have planned for dinner and how many points it is. I usually have 2-3 snacks per day....at least one is fruit, the other(s) are usually 100 cal packs or popcorn, and I usually save points for dessert.

 

 

Anyway....I've really found that planning the day helps take away the possibility of running out of points for dinner. In the beginning when I wasn't planning well I'd end up with only 4-5 pts left for dinner and that would really mess me up. I like knowing how many points I have to play with if I decide that I want a different snack or something.


~Kristie~

HW 284.4 ~ CW 283.0 ~ GW 155

:bcbkickbu restarted 8/18/10

 

 

OLD SIGNATURE (2007):

HW 253.4~CW 199.4~GW 155~~~Total lost: 54.0

ONEDERLAND reached 10/15/07

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Yes, I plan my dinners a week ahead. Sometimes I switch what night I make what dinner, but I usually stay on plan overall. I'm not sure how I'd shop for food if I had no plan. I also do MUCH better one weight loss when I plan my meals ahead. I always plan the day in advance for all three meals. and it's worked well for me so far.


Locavore on Core, eating local, organic farm-fresh foods, avoiding "Frankenfoods," and blogging all about it!

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Planning is key I think. There are different "ways" of planning.

 

Lots of people here with families and jobs and busy lives, plan their meals on the weekend for the whole of the next week.

 

I'm only planning for myself so my form of planning is making sure I have the "right" foods in the house for OP eating.

 

I find though if I have a bunch of veggies cut up for salad ahead of time that I'm more likely to go grab some of them when I'm hungry than anything else.

 

I find if I don't have some form of planning done, that when I come home from work I want to just grab something and you can eat a whole meal before you get dinner on the table.

 

I find it helps to just sit down and relax with a glass of water or maybe my 4 oz of wine first. However, I can do this as I'm by myself.

 

Ashlee


Be the change that you want to be.

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I'm a big crockpot fan. I usually make 1 sometimes 2 meals on the weekends. I freeze half for another time (I mark the point count and serving size on the bag.) and know that I have two dinners already planned for the week. Sometimes I can mix them with something else and I have 4 meals all set.

 

This way DH and I can each eat what we like and it's no big serving issue.

 

At the moment I have close to 10 of my own pre cooked meals in the fridge. When it's too hot to cook or I'm rushed, it's right there.


Grainne

 

3/16/02- Made WW Lifetime

4'11"...SW 176lbs CW 154 lbs WGW 115

Rejoining weight 11/17 154 lbs

 

 

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